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We can still feel good: evaluation of the I can feel good programme second edition in a low secure unit

Sarah Ashworth (Nottingham, UK)
Charlotte Robinson (Nottingham, UK)
Donna Harrison (Nottingham, UK)
Natalie Brotherton (Nottingham, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities

ISSN: 2044-1282

Article publication date: 26 February 2021

Issue publication date: 26 July 2021




This paper aims to present the process of reviewing, adapting and evaluating, the second edition of the I Can Feel Good programme (Ashworth et al., 2018) and adapted DBT programme facilitated at a low-security psychiatric hospital for men with intellectual disability. Through the presentation of programme development, evaluation and revision, a more thorough and transparent understanding of the process involved can be disseminated.


The programme lasted approximately 14 months and covered all four modules. N = 5, all-male, ages ranged between 23 and 57 years old. All detained under the MHA (1983) with a primary diagnosis of Mild ID with comorbid psychiatric diagnoses including mental illness, autism spectrum disorders and personality disorder. To evaluate routine effectiveness a pre-post comparison within groups design was used. A standardised GAS approach provided a template to score the degree to which identified goals were achieved over the intervention for participants.


Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used due to data not meeting parametric assumptions regarding normal distribution. Except for the mindfulness module, all modules saw pre to post programme psychometric results in the desired direction, evidencing skills acquisition. Coping in crisis and managing feelings modules outcomes neared statistical significance, with the module of people skills demonstrating statistical significance (p < 0.05).


Upon examination of the results, it appears as though the second edition pilot programme, displayed initially promising results. The clinical and statistical aspects of the programme are explored, in the hope that clinicians may consider the programme’s application and utility within various clinical contexts, in addition to gaining insight into the process of programme development and refinement.



Ashworth, S., Robinson, C., Harrison, D. and Brotherton, N. (2021), "We can still feel good: evaluation of the I can feel good programme second edition in a low secure unit", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 15 No. 2/3, pp. 33-45.



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